When you arrive in France, it is advisable to open a bank account.
Opening a bank account
Opening a bank account is recommended for non-European nationals in order to facilitate your installation in France and ensure the smooth running of your administrative procedures.
The major French banks have branches in the city centers of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille:
- BNP Paribas
- Société Générale
- Crédit Lyonnais
- Crédit Agricole
- La Banque Postale
- Crédit Mutuel Group
... and are generally open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Many online banks have been created in the last few years, depending on your country of origin, they may allow you to open a bank account before your arrival on the territory. Think about it, it could be very practical:
You can fund your bank account either in full upon arrival (with traveler's checks, for example), or by transferring it from one bank to another abroad. Find out the exact procedures from your banker in your home country before you leave to avoid excessive transfer fees.
When you open your bank account, you will be offered a payment card (called a bank card or credit card). In France, the majority of payments are made by bank card and it is absolutely essential that you have one.
Some banks charge for the bank card. Be careful on this point and choose banks where the use of the bank card is free.
Be careful, after opening your account, it will take a few days to obtain your bank card. Avoid carrying too much cash, but have enough cash on hand to cover your expenses for the next few days. Better yet:
Before you arrive in France, make sure you can use your home country's credit card in France.
Commonly accepted cards in Europe are Visa, Mastercard and American Express.
Still have questions?
Contact the International Student Welcome Team via the helpdesk!